Thursday, March 1, 2012

Rehearsing: it's all in the game.

          Many sports psychologists encourage rehearsing --- mentally. It's an idea that might come in handy if you're going to be making a presentation.

          In sports, they say you should relax before the rehearsal. One method advocates three deep breaths to quickly relax. Sometimes the athletes are encouraged to actually engage in the movements as they rehearse.  In other programs, all the action takes place in your mind. The psychologists say this facilitates imagery. Some advocate rehearsing with your eyes open. They feel certain eye movements facilitate the imagery.

          They often encourage rehearsing in "the performance situation"; a baseball player rehearsing in the on-deck circle, for example. In one program, athletes are encouraged to go through the entire situation, rehearsing the thoughts and feelings as they come up.

           I wish I had known this as I was getting ready to make an advertising presentation to a client. One time I had to present 18 different television storyboards to a Board of Directors.

           Usually, I used my prep time to concentrate on what to say when. How to dramatize a pivotal scene in a commercial, or how to act out a dialogue. I never spent time feeling the feelings. Even today it sounds pretty "California". Yet some sports psychologists say it's helpful.

           I'm going to give it a whirl. They say I can rehearse anywhere, any time, without any props. I just have to go through the entire presentation in my mind, with my eyes open or closed. In a chair, in the meeting room, or in my bed. If something makes me feel jittery, I should figure out why. Maybe, they say, I'll need sounder reasoning. If I'm rehearsing a rationale, I should make sure it's clear and concise, with bullet-proof logic.

           I have an idea. Why don't you try mental rehearsing for your next presentation, and let me know if it works. I'll be your mental audience.

No comments:

Post a Comment